Let’s Predict the Oscars

Hey guys, only 24 more hours until we get to judge gorgeous celebrities on their questionable red carpet fashion choices at the 87th Academy Awards! I don’t know about you, but I love the whole Oscars shebang with my whole heart. Yes, it’s political and often predictable and it’s super annoying how white and male the nominees are this year, but it’s also the one time that everyone seems to care about film and pop culture as much as I do. It’s my Super Bowl. I’m also really great at predicting the winners. I don’t want to brag, but the only one I missed in last year’s ballot was Best Documentary Short.

So, to help you out, I’ve taken the liberty of listing out my predictions of who’s coming away with the gold tomorrow, and I’ve enlisted a few fellow Wannabes to give their opinions as well. Only trust them if they agree with me. You’re welcome. – Chelsey

Best Picture

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Maricela: Blargh. I have no idea. I’m so done with the world if it’s American Sniper because it was good but it was no J. Edgar. (J. EDGAR WAS REALLY GOOD, GUYS!) I’m gonna just put it out there into the universe and say Selma because yeah, it really is that good. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Boyhood because “film history” and what not.

Amanda: Birdman. In a sea of biopics, all of which I absolutely loved and enjoyed, this film was daring, different and delightful. It was inspiring while being despondent, naughty while sweet … it just felt like a perfect storm of human emotion. And the music! And the camera work! Birdman was the breath of original filmmaking that I was dying for during this awards season.

Kate: I think Birdman has it. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if Boyhood won. I’d be thrilled for either to win.

Chelsey: Boyhood was the most critically revered film of 2014 until Selma came along at the very end. However, the Academy voters this year have proven to be kinda racist so slim chance Selma is taking this one. Based on its technical achievement alone, Boyhood is winning.

Best Director

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Maricela: Oh Ava DuVernay for sure…oh wait, am I living in a better, alternate universe? Oh okay, back to this one, I see this going to Richard Linklater. What he accomplished is unprecedented and I think will have a very profound effect on filmmaking/visual storytelling for years to come. That being said, Alejandro González Iñárritu kicked ASS in Birdman, and I would want him to win even if we didn’t have similar names. But so did Wes Anderson…ah! This is a toughie, but I still think it goes to Linklater.

Amanda: Alejandro González Iñárritu. See above.

Kate: Alejandro González Iñárritu will most likely take and Birdman was a work of art. But it’s well deserved by Richard Linklater for taking on a project like Boyhood.

Chelsey: Birdman, while innovative, is an extremely divisive film. Those who loved it LOVED it, while there are some very vocal haters out there. (Me, I’m indifferent.) Not too many haters of Boyhood, and even those who say it doesn’t have the strongest story still laud Richard Linklater for his incredible 12-year achievement. He’s winning this.

Best Actor

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Maricela: Michael Keaton. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t win. He’s pretty brilliant in Birdman, and while I haven’t seen The Theory of Everything yet, I have a feeling Redmayne won’t win for the main fact that he’s still “young” and Keaton “deserves” it. Hollywood is weird.

Amanda: Indifferent. Eddie is my top crush. Michael blew my mind. Either way I come out a winner.

Kate: I can only hope my beloved Eddie wins, but I have a constant fear that Keaton might win. Not that it is undeserved by Keaton, but that Eddie’s performance was phenomenal and I wish nothing but the best for him.

Chelsey: No way Eddie Redmayne doesn’t win this. He won the BAFTA, Golden Globe, and the SAG. And in the 20-year history of the SAG Awards, 16 of the Best Actors also won the Oscar, including the last eight in a row. (Even though I’m curious to see if any of the voters have seen Jupiter Ascending yet. Might sway their minds the other way…)

Best Actress

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Maricela: Julianne Moore. Exact same reasons for winning as Keaton. I’ll also be shocked if she doesn’t win. I know the Academy loves their ingenues (and Meryl Streep), but Julianne Moore “deserves” it this year. And no, I still haven’t seen Still Alice.

Kate: Is this even a competition anymore? Just give it to Julianne Moore already.

Chelsey: Yep. Julianne Moore. (Although in my heart of hearts I really want Marion Cotillard to have this. Everyone go see Two Days One Night right now and bask in her glory.)

Best Supporting Actor

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Maricela: JK Simmons. Let’s be real, has anyone else who awards in this category awarded anyone BUT JK Simmons for Whiplash? No, I don’t think so.

Kate: JK Simmons will hands down get it and it is so well deserved.

Chelsey: Guys, I really think Edward Norton has a chance. JK. JK Simmons winning is more assured than even a Neil Patrick Harris song-and-dance number.

Best Supporting Actress

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Maricela: Patricia Arquette. Unless they give the ingenue award to Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything. C’mon, Academy, don’t you want CSI: Cyber to announce that the show stars Oscar winner Patricia Arquette? For that alone, I think she’s 80/20 a lock for the award.

Amanda: Emma Stone. Is this based on undying devotion? Partially. But also, her delivery of the big “relevance” speech was so spot on and absolutely perfect. She is incredibly talented and multifaceted and she deserves this credit. It was a breakout/breakAWAY role for her.

Kate: Patricia Arquette. Again, who else is even in the running at this point?

Chelsey: Patricia “I thought there’d be more” Arquette.

Best Original Screenplay

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Maricela: The Grand Budapest Hotel! I’m far from the biggest Wes Anderson fanatic, but I adore The Grand Budapest Hotel. I think it’s funny, sad, and powerful in all the right ways. It hits me right in the feels, and I hope it hits the Academy in the same way.

Amanda: The Grand Budapest Hotel! OF COURSE! Have you heard the dialogue in that thing? It is so brilliant.

KateBirdman, Boyhood or The Grand Budapest hotel. I don’t even know which one I would vote for if I could.

Chelsey: I see a slim chance Birdman takes this, but I think The Academy wants to give Wes Anderson his due in some way. He’ll take this one for The Grand Budapest Hotel. 

Best Adapted Screenplay

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Maricela: It’s going to be American Sniper, isn’t it? I have a feeling Paul Thomas Anderson did 10 times the work for Inherent Vice than Jason Hall for American Sniper but whatever the Academy doesn’t care about psychedelic movies.

Kate: It will probably be American Sniper, but I’d be thrilled if Whiplash won.

Chelsey: American Sniper would be predictable, but The Imitation Game would be even more predictable. I’m going with that one.

Best Animated Feature

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Maricela: The Lego Movie…just kidding! My money’s on How to Train Your Dragon 2 because the Academy has been rather jingoistic in terms of their reluctance to grant this award to foreign films ever since Miyazaki’s Spirited Away won in 2002. As such, The Song of the Sea (I LOVED The Secret of the Kells) or The Tale of Princess Kaguya (the trailer alone had me mesmerized) should probably win.

Chelsey: The Lego Movie 😦 😦 😦 Idk. Probs Big Hero 6, because it’s the Disney choice.

Amanda: Stop it. The Lego Movie. I hate The Academy.

Other Categories

Best Documentary Feature: It’s a close call between Citizenfour and Finding Vivian Maier. – Chelsey

Best Visual Effects is a really strong category this year with Interstellar and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes as my personal top favorites. – Maricela

Best Cinematography: I mean, I inherently knew that Birdman wasn’t shot all in one take, but it had me second guessing the whole time. Super impressive camerawork and if it doesn’t win then I don’t know anything anymore. – Chelsey

Original Music Score: IF HANS ZIMMER DOESN’T WIN FOR HIS MONUMENTAL AND LOUD SCORE FOR INTERSTELLAR I’M GOING TO BLAST IT FROM MY SPEAKERS THROUGHOUT THE REST OF THE OSCARS. No, I won’t, but I’ll be pissed. – Maricela

The Grand Budapest Hotel better win for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design. Because, duh. – Chelsey

Best Original Song: Duh, “Glory.” Although, I’ll laugh my ass off if it loses because the Academy just doesn’t give two shits about anyone. – Maricela

Best Foreign Language Film: I’m still so baffled by the exclusion of Two Days One Night, but Ida was also an incredible film and will definitely take the top prize.  – Chelsey

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Let’s Predict the Oscars

The Academy Awards Never Win

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.

The nominations are in and the stage is set for another Academy Awards next month. Strangely enough, the Oscar nominees elicit a weird reaction every time they’re announced. Critically the Awards are treated as the hallmark of excellence for film, acting, directing, etc., but often we as a society tend to dismiss them when we don’t agree with the nominees and/or winners. In my discussions with peers, I’ve even heard that awards ceremonies in general are rather pointless due to bias and personal opinion, yet when they talk about an award-winning movie with revere, they’re quick to point out that it won an award. This bi-polar emotion just goes to show that the Academy Awards will never truly win in the court of public opinion.

Perhaps I’m pointing out the obvious here as these are likely feelings or thoughts we’ve all had at one point in time. Of course, there’s also a good bet that most people don’t even think about the Academy Awards at all. Regardless, I believe the Oscars, though flawed and prone to nominate similar films each year, serve a good purpose as far as awards go.

  1. Giving attention where attention is due

Often we can know a film will be on the nominee list before it even hits theaters. Some, however, surprise us and make it on the list with little to no fanfare. Off the top of my head, Winter’s Bone comes to mind as a film that was nominated for Best Picture and yet few had heard of and likely fewer had seen at the time of its release. It’s a fantastic movie – and notably Jennifer Lawerence’s first big role – that deserved the nomination and one that I might not have discovered otherwise. Often I hear family and friends argue that’s it’s precisely unknown films like Winter’s Bone that turn them off to the Awards because they haven’t seen them (nor, for that matter, do they want to see them).

These feelings were most pronounced in 2008 when the Academy nominated a relatively unknown movie, The Reader, for the fifth Best Picture slot over commercial and critical smash hit The Dark Knight. At the time, I counted myself as one of the many who were upset over what I saw to be a gross bias by the Academy of choosing weird, independent films over superhero ones. I realize now that I’ve never seen The Reader nor can I vouch for its quality, but what I can say is that, whether or not the Academy was mistaken in their nomination, a new movie is on my radar that would otherwise have flown by unnoticed. This list has grown over the years and gives me something to look forward to when considering what I want to watch over the weekend.

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  1. And the winner is …

Sometimes the Academy gets it right. Occasionally their eyes are open, their minds unbiased and the quality of the winners is undisputed. When it happens, I can’t help but sit back, grin and think to myself, “maybe humanity is worth saving.”

Again, this is obviously relative as different people will think different movies/actors/directors deserved to win over the actual winner. However, there’s a distinct difference between a great movie beating another great movie, such as No County for Old Men beating out There Will Be Blood, and a not so great movie like, oh I don’t know, let’s say Chicago beating out the likes of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. A good friend of mine was rooting for There Will Be Blood back in 2007 as we played a good round of Oscar bingo and, while he was disappointed with the final results, felt satisfied knowing that a worthy contender took home the big prize.

If all else fails, the Academy tries to put on a good show. I would wager that anticipation for the dresses and outfits on the red carpet are a bigger deal than the awards themselves sometimes. And if, at the end of the day, you still don’t like, agree with or enjoy the Academy Awards, there are always other awards ceremonies out there to satiate the desire to see your favorite films recognized and honored: the Golden Globes, the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards and – possibly the greatest joke of an awards ceremony – the People’s Choice Awards. But I can almost promise you’ll never see anything as cool as this photo at one of those ceremonies.

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The Academy Awards Never Win